The Goodwin-Chichester Avro Avian
With Captain George Bolt and Lieutenant Harry Lett

On Wednesday the 27th of February 1929 a two-seat Avro Avian arrived in Cambridge. Piloted by the famous aviator Captain George Bolt. He was accompanied by another pilot, Lieutenant Harry Lett, who was later to be an instructor with the Waikato Aero Club, but at this point in time I believe was based in Auckland.

The aircraft was to stay in the town for eight days, providing joy rides to anyone who was willing to pay the cost. The aeroplane caused quite a stir during its stay in Cambridge, as demonstrated in the following articles clipped from the Waikato Independent newspaper, and the accompanying photos that were taken by local man Frank Green, who was one of those who took the opportunity to have a ride. The photos come from the Frank Green Collection, which are held in the Cambridge Museum.

George Bolt stands next to the wingtip of the Avian on James Taylor's 'Bardowie' estate, Victoria Road, Cambridge
(Photo: Frank Green Collection, Cambridge Museum)



Waikato Independent, 28th of February 1929



Keen Interest Shown

The manoeuvres of an aeroplane over Cambridge yesterday afternoon attracted much attention. It was the light Avro-Avian ‘plane piloted by Captain George Bolt, who had with him as a passenger Mr. Innes Taylor, of Hamilton Road. When over Cambridge the pilot “stunted”, doing two vertical banks and a half-roll; to the delight of the gazing residents. "Just like a big bird," said one resident, and it truly did, as its silver wings and white fuselage showed in the sunshine.

Representatives of the Goodwin Chichester Aviation Co., of Wellington, the 'plane was brought from Pukekohe to hamilton on Tuesday by Captain Bolt, with whom is associated Lieutenant Lett. While in Hamilton the flying men made observations for suitable landing places in this part of the Waikato. The visitors came to Cambridge yesterday afternoon and landed at Mr Innes Taylor's, Hamilton Road.

Captain Bolt and Lieutenant Lett are staying in Cambridge until next Thursday, and will be conducting private flights during the whole of that period, as advertised in an advertisement elsewhere in this issue.

The type of machine and also details concerning the pilot are outlined in a circular which is also included in today's issue.

Captain george Bolt is the grand engineer and pilot for the Company, while Lieutenant Lett also acts as pilot and travelling business manager. Captain Bolt was with Walsh Bros., of the Flying School at Kohimarama, for about eight years, and is the best known pilot in New Zealand; incidentally he has always been recognised as a very clever engineer. Lieutenant W.H. Lett is also a very capable airman, and was with the Royal Air Force in Egypt during the Great War.

It will be noted in the advertisement that while in cambridge the machine will be situated at Mr Jas Taylor's "Bardowie".

Questioned this morning as to the prospects of commercial aviation ion New Zealand, Lieutenant Lett said he was convinced that it was bound to come. Although not the scope as compared with Australia, the country of New Zealand was quite suited to permanent route flying. Asked as to the suitability of the country around Cambridge for a permanent landing ground, Lieutenant Lett said the type of the country was good, and there should be little difficulty to select a suitable site. It was a matter the Borough Council or the local authorities might have in mind, so that they would be prepared when the opportunity offered.

And the next day...

Waikato Independent, Saturday 2nd of March 1929




Many district residents have seen Cambridge under entirely novel conditions during the past few days when they made a trip in the Avro-Avian in the aeroplane that is now in Cambridge and situated at Mr. Jas. Taylor's "Bardowie". Undertaken by the majority with some degree of trepidation, the trip through the air has proved a delightful experience, especially with the conditions for flying being ideal.

Those who have been "up" speak highly of the stability of the machine and the capable control by the pilots, Captain Geo. Bolt and Lieutenant Lett. Those who had not previously been aloft over Cambridge were much interested in the topography of the country as viewed from a novel angle, and found much amusement with their bird's=eye view of Cambridge. The aeroplane will remain in Cambridge till after the show and no doubt during the next few days many residents will indulge in a joyride.

Those who have already made trips are as follows: - Messrs Innes Taylor, Carwell Cooke, senr. and junr., V.S. Cray, D. irving, A.B. Cubis, F.H. Green, T. Loughlin, Porritt, R. Newcombe, Peake, Discombe, Banks, Winter, Bradstreet, Amoore, Rowland, Brian. Mesdames Innes Taylor, Jennins, Taylor, Misses Kennedy, Taylor, Monckton, G. Monckton and D. Monckton.

As it happens, a series of excellent old photos from Frank Green's collection have survived from his own experience in the Avian. Here are a selection of these, which come from the Frank Green Collection, held at the Cambridge Museum.

Lieutenant Harry Lett and Captain George Bolt prepare for a flight


George Bolt is on the right

Frank Green's friend Winnie alights from the Avian

One of the aerial views that frank Green shot over Cambridge. the crossroads at the bottom is that of Bryce and Queen Street, and Victoria Street is at the top of the photo.

For more photos of the Frank Green Collection please contact the Cambridge Museum